District 8 Assistant District Executive for Construction Kevin Keefe has been with PennDOT for over 30 years. He began his career as a civil engineer trainee (CET) in 1992 and knew very early on what he wanted to do.
"I love construction," he said. "My entire career has been in construction, and I've loved every minute of it."
The road to Kevin's career started well before he was hired by PennDOT. Kevin had an aptitude for math and physics, and physics teacher at Wyalusing Valley Jr. Sr. High School in Bradford County – Mr. Jenkins – influenced him to pursue a career as an engineer.
Other mentors along the way included Pat Gardner who Kevin worked for early on in his career at Central Office's Quality Assurance Support Division before moving to the QA East Division.
Following a stint at District 5 serving in the QA unit, he came to District 8 as assistant structure control engineer, serving under Structure Control Engineer Naji Chidiac, another major influence. Although Kevin had his eye on assistant construction engineer (ACE), he didn't have any supervisory experience, so he went back to QA in District 8 to serve as a team leader to get that experience.
He served at that position for year during which the ARRA stimulus funding allowed the district to move forward with more construction projects. That created a need for an additional temporary ACE position for the season, so Kevin took over projects for Cumberland County and the northern section of York County, all the while serving as QA team leader.
Eventually, things began to open up for him. A freeze on manager salaries resulted in the Structure Control Engineer and three ACE's leaving the department. And while Kevin, who had in the meantime gotten his PE license, still coveted an ACE position, he settled for Structure Control Engineer.
"It turned out to be one of the best jobs I had with the department," he said.
After serving as SCE for five years, he served as Construction Services Engineer for five years before being appointed ADE for Construction in November of 2019.
He said at one point about 15 years ago, he contemplated changing careers and becoming a math or physics teacher – but that moment passed and he's glad it did.
"At the end of the day, I love my job and I enjoy going to work," Kevin said. "I've got a great staff that makes me look good – and that's half the battle."
A widower, Kevin currently resides in the Duncannon area. He has four sons: Travis, the oldest, graduated from Mansfield University and works as a software engineer, Kaleb, 21, attends Susquehanna University studying business finance, Zach, 18, is a senior in high school who plans major in digital forensic computer science. His youngest, Ryan, 16 is a high school junior who wants to be an engineer.